“Our culture seems to be obsessed with romantic love. It’s featured in every romantic comedy, soap opera, romance novel and reality show. People seem enamored (and misled) by this fantasy of the kind of love you somehow “fall” into. Our culture promotes the early stage of sparks and fiery passionate connections when each person shows their ideal selves, not to be confused (of course) with their real selves. The real self, often the fearful self, emerges later when it thinks the coast is clear or when we’re just too tired to keep up the facade.
The truth is most of us are wearing the mask of who we aspire to be or who we think the other person (or family and friends) want us to be in relationship. But the ideal self can only mask the true self for a short period of time. And then it happens … two real selves show up, the masks fade and the real work begins; the task, the challenge and the joy of loving well.”